TOPIC 1 – International Level Crossing Awareness Day observed on (10-06-21)

General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

Officials of South Central Railway (SCR) celebrated the ‘International Level Crossing Awareness Day’ on Thursday. They conducted awareness programmes for the public at level crossing gates.

Authorities have taken up the operation to remove the manned level crossings in a phased manner by providing Limited Height Subways (LHS), Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Road Under Bridges (RUBs) in the zone.

TOPIC 2 – Brood X-Swarm of cicadas

General Studies Paper 3: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management  

Swarms of these insects have been spotted in a number of American states. These are part of a group named Brood X, based on their life cycles and periodic appearances. The cicadas in Brood X number in billions and come out of their underground homes every 17 years.

Brood X:

Cicadas live underground for extended periods of time, typically 13 or 17 years, and feed on roots of trees both underground and above it. The term ‘brood’ refers to a population of cicadas that is isolated from other populations because of differences in their year of emergence or locality.


  • Brood X is the largest brood of 17-year cicadas and is found in Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana and eastern Tennessee, according to the US National Park Service (NPS). Last year, another grouping of 17-year cicadas dubbed Brood IX emerged in some states on the east coast of the US.
  • Among periodical cicadas, there are seven species.

When they emerge?

  • The time when they decide to emerge is dependent on weather, specifically when ground temperatures reach about 17-18°C.
  • Their emergence is to ensure continuation of their species.
  • The eggs are laid in in small twigs and branches. Once they hatch after about six weeks, the nymphs fall to the ground, and burrow their way into the ground. After becoming adults, these nymphs will emerge again 17 years later (or 13 years in some broods).

Are cicadas dangerous?

  • Cicadas also do not bite or sting, but when the males sing, their collective chorus can reach up to 100 decibels, a noise level that can possibly cause severe damage if you are exposed to it for several hours. One hundred decibels is equivalent to a jet flyover at 1000 feet, a motorcycle or a powered lawn mower.
  • The only harm cicadas can cause is during egg laying when small twigs may be damaged by deep slits cut by the female when she deposits her rows of eggs (a typical female can lay roughly 500 eggs that are laid in over 40-50 different sites).

TOPIC 3 – The G-7 agenda

General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)


At the invitation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit on June 12 and June 13, in virtual format.

  • The G7 comprises the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. The UK currently holds the presidency of the G7 and has invited India, along with Australia, Republic of Korea and South Africa, as guest countries for the Summit.

The theme for the summit is ‘Build Back Better ,

The UK has outlined four priority areas for its presidency.

  • These are leading the global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics;
  • promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade;
  • tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity;
  • and championing shared values and open societies.
  • The leaders are expected to exchange views on the way forward for the world amid the pandemic, with focus on health and climate change.

India’s participation:

  • Since 2014, this is the second time PM Modi will be participating in a G7 meeting.
  • India had been invited by the G7 French Presidency in 2019 to the Biarritz Summit as a “Goodwill Partner” and the Prime Minister participated in the Sessions on ‘Climate, Biodiversity and Oceans’ and ‘Digital Transformation’.
  • During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s UPA rule, India attended the G8 five times.

What to watch out for at this G-7 summit?

  • This will be President Biden’s first visit to Europe, where he will signal his key message “America is back”. He has flown down to the UK, where he will meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II and other allies at the G7 summit. He’ll continue on to a NATO conclave in Brussels on June 14, before his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva two days later.
  • Biden will announce a major new initiative to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 ahead of the G7 summit.
  • According to US media reports, the Biden administration is set to buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for international distribution. Doses will be aimed at developing countries.

TOPIC 4 – Sardar Sarovar Dam

General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

General Studies Paper 3: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management


The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam is a terminal dam built on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district. Called the ‘lifeline of Gujarat’, it usually has no water for irrigation during summers. However, this year, in the ongoing summer, the dam released about 1.3 Million Acre Feet (MAF) water for irrigation between April 1 and May 31 in its command area of 21.29 lakh hectares.

And for the first time in the history of the dam, as many as 35 dams and reservoirs, close to 1,200 check dams and 1000 village tanks have been filled with Narmada water this year, according to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).

About projects on River Narmada :

  • River Narmada is a classic case of Integrated River Basin Planning, Development, and Management, with water storage available in all major, medium, and minor dams on the main river and its tributaries, shared amongst four party states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra — in the ratio stipulated by the 1979 award of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal.
  • Out of the 28 MAF capacity of Narmada basin, Gujarat has been awarded a share of 9 MAF, while Madhya Pradesh has 18.25 MAF, Rajasthan 0.50 MAF, and Maharashtra 0.25 MAF. The power benefits from the project are to be shared thus: Madhya Pradesh at 57 per cent, Maharashtra at 27 per cent, and Gujarat at 16 per cent.
  • In 2017, the dam was raised to a height of 138.68 meters (spillway level until 2017 was 121.92 meters) and 30 gates were installed. The dam achieved its Full Reservoir Level (FRL) for the first time in 2019. It also attained FRL in the monsoon of 2020

Dam Spillway Gates:

  • A water year is counted from July 1 to June 30.
  • A major dam should not be filled more than 60 per cent as of July 31, more than 75 per cent on August 31, and more than 85 per cent on September 15. Therefore, excess flood water received after attaining these levels is allowed to flow downstream by opening the gates. Each spillway gate level is decided after duly considering the storage and flood absorption capacity in the upstream dams, the rain forecast, flood conveyance capacity of the river in downstream, and balancing hydropower generation with power grid requirements.

TOPIC 5 – Tiny worm comes back to life after 24,000 years in Siberian deep freeze

General Studies Paper 3: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management  


Russian scientists found the tiny, ancient animal called the bdelloid rotifer in soil taken from the river Alazeya in Russia’s region of Yakutia in the far north.

  • The bdelloid rotifer, a multicellular organism found in freshwater habitats across the world, is known to be able to withstand extreme cold.
  • Previous research suggested it could survive for a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius.
  • The organism was recovered from samples taken 3.5 metres below ground. The material was dated from between 23,960 and 24,485 years ago
  • Scientists earlier revived microscopic worms called nematodes from sediment in two places in northern Siberia that were dated over 30,000 years old.